Monday, August 07, 2006

Paperclipology: finding key facts with the suffix and stem methods

(Part of the "Name five hundred uses for a paperclip" project.)

The suffix method

This is a quick method that can help with the listing of key information about a subject -- in this case, paperclips. I start out with my subject:

Paperclip

and simply add a suffix to the word to see what the 'new' word suggests. For example, the suffixes (pl?) "er", "ing", "able" and "ish" give "paperclipper", "paperclipping", "papperclippable" and "paperclippish" which suggest:

Paperclipper = someone who uses a paperclip (or perhaps someone who assists in the manufacturing in some way)
Paperclipping = using a paperclip
Paperclippable = something that can be paperclipped
Paperclippish = like a paperclip

Finding more suffixes

Random words can be used to provide new suffixes. With this approach I take a few letters from the end of the word -- or even the whole word -- to use as my suffix:

Tesco -- take "co" to give: paperclip-co = a company that makes paperclips
Plant -- take "plant" to give: paperclip-plant = the area of a company where the manufacturing occurs
Eyebank -- take "bank" to give: paperclip-bank = any receptacle for paperclips
Duplicity -- take "icity" to give: paperclipicity = dexterity with a paperclip (?)

Obviously not every word will provide a workable suffix and often a little imagination is needed to find/create a meaning. The good suffixes (such as "ing", "er" and "able" etc) are worth remembering as they will work with any other subject.

Creating a stem

It can be worth removing letters from the end of the word to give a new word that can be used with the suffix method. Removing "clip" from "paperclip" gives "paper" which is obviously very pertinent to the challenge.

Paperer = someone that uses paper
Papering = using paper
Paperable = something capable of being printed on paper or made with paper
Paperish = like paper
etc.

2 comments:

Arun Verma said...

very interesting concept!

John's Ideas and Creativity said...

:)